10 January 2021
Matthew 19 transitions to Jesus’ final phase of ministry as He begins His journey toward Jerusalem and the cross. It is fitting, then, that He begins this difficult road by discussing God’s desire for faithfulness in families and in homes. The picture of the Gospel in these verses is not one of husbands and wives who fulfill marriage perfectly. Instead, the glory of God is on display as He demonstrates His never-failing-faithfulness, even in the midst of our unfaithfulness.
27 December 2020
Isaiah 65 records one of the most beautiful promises in all of Scripture: the coming Kingdom of God in all of its fullness. God through Isaiah reveals to us the beauty and majesty of a new Creation, a new City, and a new Civilization. All of eternity, for the Christian, will be spent in perfect communion with God, enjoying all of His wondrous new Creation. Let everyone come to Christ the King while there is yet time!
20 December 2020
Isaiah records four “Servant Songs” in his prophecy. The last, and arguably the most famous, gives the portrayal of God’s servant as one who will suffer on behalf of others. Importantly, we see this prophecy fulfilled in the Lord Jesus, very God of very God, who came and suffered and died for His people. But even more than this, we see that Jesus triumphs over sin and death and hell, and so too shall all those who belong to Him (cf. John 12:37-41, 1 Peter 2:19-25).
13 December 2020
Isaiah 26 is one of those biblical passages that ties together so many of the bible’s great themes of promise. “The strong city” of God stands at the forefront of the chapter. This city, personified by God’s presence, is the very dwelling place of God. It is based upon Jerusalem of old, but finds its biblical fulfillment in the Church, the true people of God (cf. 1 Peter 2, Rev 21). May we all find safety in the New Jerusalem of God, the Church of Jesus Christ.
6 December 2020
Isaiah 11 gives us a wonderful picture of what King Jesus is like. It also shows us, even beyond His character, what His rule and reign will accomplish. Truly we can except and hope in a complete renewal and transformation of all things under His Lordship. He will make all things new and will fix every problem that has every existed. Amen, Come Lord Jesus!
29 November 2020
Isaiah begins to reveal the Gospel of our Lord Jesus in chapters 6 and 7 of his prophecy. In chapter 6, we see the Lord Jesus, seated on His throne in all of His glory. This is confirmed to us in John 12:41. But in chapter 7, the prophecy shifts gears to reveal to us that the great King of Kings will actually come in human form. Almighty God would come to earth, taking on human form, and being born in a miraculous way. And this sign would be the sign that confirms God’s unbreakable covenant with His people. The baby-to-be-born shall be called Immanuel, which means “God with us”.
22 November 2020
God commands us to be grateful in this passage. But God also gives us the motivation and the ability to be thankful because of who the Lord Jesus Christ is. No matter who we are or what we are facing, God can and will enable a heart of gratitude to be ours through the power of His Holy Spirit.
15 November 2020
James 5 explains that the LORD our God is patient in His steadfastness. But He is not absent or slow to action. God has been working from all of eternity to redeem a people to Himself, and He has promised to come again in the Lord Jesus Christ. The Christian must wait patiently, eagerly expecting the coming of the Lord. Without this hope, meaningful life is impossible.
8 November 2020
In the last half of Matthew 18, Jesus teaches His disciples and He teaches us about the nature and the importance of church discipline. Church discipline has fallen out of regular use and practice in so many churches in our day and time. However, it is one of the historical hallmarks of the true churches of Jesus Christ. It is the way in which God the Father shows His love to His children as the book of Hebrews tells us. And more importantly, it is the fundamental and primary way that Jesus prepares His people to live with Him for all of eternity in the presence of our great and glorious God.
1 November 2020
Jesus explains that all of His disciples must be humbled like little children. None of Christ’s followers can take care of themselves but must ultimately rely on God the Father for everything. Even beyond this, Jesus also comforts His people with the image of the Good Shepherd nature of our God. Not one of His sheep can ever be lost.
25 October 2020
Jesus instructs His disciples that God will provide all that they need for life and godliness. Because of His life and work, the followers of Christ are even made to be God’s sons, heirs by faith. This will ultimately have the result of freeing Jesus’ disciples to live for God and to serve others sacrificially. May we all learn to do that as we also learn to lean on the provision of God’s grace in the Lord Jesus Christ.
18 October 2020
Jesus heals a boy with epilepsy that is caused by a demon in this passage of Scripture. Despite the father’s or the disciples’ inability to deal with the situation, Jesus lovingly heals this child, while also teaching His people a very important truth: with Jesus, all things are possible. There is nothing that our God cannot do in order that His glory might go forth. May this bring all of us encouragement today.
11 October 2020
The beginning of Matthew 17 gives us the account of Jesus’ transfiguration on an unknown mountain in Israel. These verses clearly connects to Moses’ beholding the glory of God in Exodus 24 (and 34). But in this passage, Jesus is shown to be none other than God Himself, shining all of the radiant glory of God the Father into this sinful and broken world. These verses begin to reveal that, in Christ, we find the fulfillment of Psalm 36:9–“In thy light we shall see light”. Indeed, Jesus’ glory will transform the entire world as He reveals the glory of God’s coming Kingdom.
4 October 2020
Jesus teaches His disciples and us about the great importance and benefit of His passion ministry–His death, burial, and resurrection. Without these salvation events, the Christian faith would be entirely meaningless, and even impossible. But because Christ has first taken up His cross and laid down His life and then raised it up again, so too can we believers. Only by the power of God’s Spirit can we take up our cross and follow after Jesus every day.
27 September 2020
These verses represent a turning point in Jesus’ ministry. Jesus confronts His disciples here with the truth of His identity and the reality of His invading the evil of this age. Caesarea Philippi hosted several major temples and shrines to pagan false gods. From this place, Jesus thunders against the devil and all his scheming. We see in this passage the hope that God will never fail His people.
20 September 2020
The beginning of Matthew 16 marks a turning point in Jesus’ Gospel ministry. From this point forward, He begins to shift His attention towards Jerusalem and the ministry of His passion. But the Jewish leadership come to confront Him, even before He arrives in the Holy City. In these verses, Jesus warns His disciples, and He warns us about the danger of false teaching. He also stresses that the Christian life will be one of blessing from God, but He doesn’t mean that it will always be easy.
13 September 2020
Jesus first heals a multitude of people in our passage of Scripture. He then miraculously feeds a great crowd of more than 4000 people with only a handful of ingredients. Through this great miracle, which is distinct and separate from the feeding of the 5000, Jesus demonstrates God’s love for peoples from every tribe and nation and language. He also demonstrates God’s ability to feed and care for His people, no matter where they are or what they are facing in this age. May that give us great courage as we seek to worship and serve God.
6 September 2020
As Jesus continues to teach His disciples more about the Kingdom, Jesus heals a Canaanite woman in this passage from Matthew. He does so at least partially to challenge their prejudices and Jewish sensibilities. Through this healing, Matthew further demonstrates that God’s mission of the Kingdom is one that will be for the blessing of all nations. It also forces the readers and hearers to reckon with their own biases. We must be rooted and grounded in the Gospel of Jesus more than anything else.